Two full days of meetings in New Jersey this week for the Women's Professional Soccer Board of Governors advanced the League considerably.
It's very exciting to see a League come together. While i'm sure many things have changed since the NFL's gestation period, i think many of the experiences must be similar to those that Curly Lambeau and George Halas had 88 years ago.
We discussed and formalized various player distribution mechanics, marketing updates, legal issues, team operations/milestone reports, League expansion and sponsorship and broadcast opportunities.
...and at night we went to dinner in a private room at Fiorino Ristorante in Summit, New Jersey. The dinner was a great opportunity to meet socially with team and League staff and owners. It also allowed us to get to know representatives of expansion candidate franchises from several markets better.
While, the dinner was great, the transportation to and from the dinner was extra special thanks to our hosts at Sky Blue Soccer. The shuttle bus provided to take us from the hotel to the restaurant and back was THE WPS PARTY BUS:
The NJ limo party bus comes fully loaded with the following luxury features:
State of the art audio surround sound system
Huge 50" plasma TV with satellite reception and 3 additional LCD flat screens
AM/FM satellite radio reception
Fiber optic lighting; mirrored ceiling
Champagne and rock glasses with colorful beverage napkins
Ice buckets stocked with water, soda, and ice
CD and DVD players
Two custom bars on the side and front with fiber optic lighting
Adjustable window shades for privacy
Emergency exit and escape hatch
Extra large luggage and storage compartment under the main cabin
A low bridge forced the bus to make a detour which gave us a bonus hour of bonding time on the WPS Party Bus each way. The meetings themselves are obviously the important functionality of the time in New Jersey, but the WPS Party Bus ride is what will be remembered:
* Listening to veteran soccer event organizer Thom Meredith tell awe inspiring stories of Lamar Hunt's generosity, kindness, photographic memory and wisdom
* WPS expansion owner Fitz Johnson (Atlanta) serving as WPS Party Bus DJ
* Rocking out to James Taylor's "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)"
* And pictured above: me using the WPS Party Bus poles for their intended purpose - with Thom Meredith (left) and Joe Quinn (Washington Freedom) looking on in bemusement, Caryn Chasteen (St. Louis), Jeff Mallett and Michael Stoller (Boston) ignoring the proceedings on the left and Joe Cummings (Boston) turning his back to me on the right. Notice WPS fearless leader Tonya searching in the back of the WPS Party Bus for appropriate dance music for me on the satellite radio.
...and every day we get closer to being a real League. It involves a lot of hard work - and quite a bit of fun - by some incredibly talented people with a common passion to see professional women's soccer succeed.